Superfreaks: Night Man and Moon Boy

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Tue Sep 12 15:07:44 PDT 2006

Martin Phipps fired a somewhat-inaccurate and self-serving salvo in the
form of a notes section:

> Okay.

Okay, indeed. :-)

Time to clarify some of these claims.

> This was originally intended as an 8FOLD story but Tom
> had some reservations.  For starters, he questioned
> some of the bad language used by the Batman clone in
> the story and, even though he didn't say, he might not

I objected not to the language itself, but to the fact that in the
draft I read, Night Man said "fuck" twice in a court of law.  There
was, to my memory, no objections raised about the first "fuck", and I
thought it denigrated the power of the second.

Notice that this story contains only one "fuck".

> have liked the Batman clone being refered to as a
> psycho.  He's mentioned that he prefers stories that
> "show the benefits of the mentor sidekick
> relationship" so having Night Man get angry at Moon
> Boy and break his arm wouldn't have gone down too well

But this was something I was more than willing to let pass, as I've
stated both privately and publicly.

> with him.  He objected to the Joker clone having the
> obvious name the Kidder and suggested that this
> practice reduces the impact of the serious story and
> makes it a parody.  I disagree.  Finally, he pointed

I objected more to the name "Pussywoman".

Yes, Pussywoman.  I shit you not.

Whom has been replaced with "Plant Woman."

> out that 8FOLD already has a Batman clone in the Green
> Knight so there would be the question of where Night
> Man had been operating all this time seeing as how he

Actually, that's taken a bit out of context, Martin.

Firstly, I didn't point out the Green-Knight-Batman-analogue thing in
reference to _this_ story.  I pointed it out in reference to your next
story, which you had set in Jolt City, a Jolt City containing numerous
heroes, villains, and a super-CSI division-- which would have been
radically different from my Jolt City.  Which is something that,
admittedly, you do reference in your notes:

> couldn't imagine Jolt City having enough crime to
> warrant two Batman clones let alone a whole set of
> implied JLA clones. :)

--but you still leave out enough to mislead.

And I never called the Green Knight a Batman clone.  They have
certainly archetypical similarities, but it's not like I took a bunch
of existing characters and came up with ridiculously transparent and
lame codenames for them so that I could subvert those archetypes.  I
think I did enough work to give Martin Rock and Ray Cradle
substantially different personalities and circumstances than Dick
Grayson and Bruce Wayne, archetypes aside.

> I also sent this story to Jamie.  That was a month
> ago.  Jamie just got back to me, not about this story

Because, y'know, a month is _such_ a long time.

> but about another story in which a retired Night Man
> appears.  Jamie had reservations because I tell
> stories using dialogue and I don't use a lot of
> narrative description.  Well, frankly, I don't want
> to.  I figure that readers just need to be able to

Which is your perogrative.  And I, for one, would be happy to let that
pass; who knows?  Maybe if you took the time to discuss it with Jamie,
he might have said okay too.  But the next email you sent after Jamie
provided what I found to be constructive criticism was the same email
in which you stated your intentions not to set it in Eightfold.  This
was some nine hours later.

Jamie's "reservations" were not, I think, immutable or closed to
discussion.  Neither of us would dream on imposing any restrictions on
another writer.

We don't _need_ to like your story to include it in Eightfold.  We can
accomodate other points of view, and are willing to.

Our suggestions are not the words of God; they're suggestions from
fellow writers, trying to challenge you to do your best.  And, in this
case-- a _little_ more description to help orient readers, character
names that aren't lame/borderline copyright infringement-- I don't
think it was asking very much.  We certainly didn't ask

> to know the colour of the furniture.

I think all we were suggesting, really, was that we know what room that
furniture is in. :-)

I'm fine with your dialogue-heavy stories, but at times it is easy to
get confused-- especially in a project as ambitious as SUPERFREAKS, in
which at least three different narrative threads are followed in the
first issue alone.  It's a very moody piece, and very plot-based, with
snappy dialogue.  I like it, mostly.

And in a plot-based story, I don't need to know which of the two
"heroes"/investigators are talking (another of Jamie's points)-- I just
need to know what plot we're talking about.

> more issues belonging to this imprint.  Superfreaks is
> not going to be about superheroes per se but about
> regular people in a world in which superheroes are
> active.  Sounds a lot like 8FOLD, I know. :)

Sounds a lot like ASTRO CITY, actually. :-)

But I suppose Eightfold is usually more character-based.  And we're
generally more optimistic.  But we would certainly accept a plot-based
series, and a pessimistic one.

We were all set to accept this one.

> Oh, by the way, I should thank Tom and Jamie for their
> input even though I decided I couldn't wait to get
> their approval before I started posting. :)

It was a month for this story, and twelve days since the first issue of
the SUPERFREAKS series landed in my mail box.  I don't really think
it's that long of a wait.

But when you're used to posting things *immediately* after writing them
without any editing, rewriting, or proofreading, I can see how twelve
days can be an inordinate amount of time.

> Martin

And no, Martin, I'm not mad at you. :-)

I just had to clarify some of your statements.  Since you chose to take
them to the public forum, I'll answer them in the public forum.  I make
no apologies for the tone and nature of my rebuttal.


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